CURRENTS: Derek Musgrove (History)
Humanities Work Now
Monday, November 4, 2019 · Noon - 1 PM
Fall 2019 Works-in-Progress Talks
Hope and Despair in late 1970s Black Politics
Derek Musgrove, Associate Professor in History; Fall 2019 Dresher Center Residential Faculty Research Fellow
Derek Musgrove’s current book project, “We Must take to the Streets Again”: The Black Power Resurgence, 1982-97, explores African Americans’ contradictory feelings of hope and despair at the prospects that integration could create black equality in the 1970s United States. Focusing on electoral politics, Musgrove argues that while a small number of African Americans made electoral breakthroughs in these years, making a case for the successes of integration, an unfolding economic restructuring and the rise of the New Right convinced many others that they needed to return to Black Power style politics to secure African American rights and resources. By 1980, the nationalists had won the argument about strategy among nearly every segment of the black political class, from Marxist community activists to liberal elected officials. In that year, many would gather in conventions to create the organizations and networks that would propel black politics for much for the next decade and one half.